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Rupert Syme’s first experience of Lionheart was as a tutee at 12 years old, after moving to the UK from the Turks and Caicos. He believes the education and school placement advice he received from the team ‘completely changed’ the course of his life. ‘I’d never heard of Latin, for example,’ he says: adding that he was brought up in a remote group of islands with ‘no news and no newspapers’. Being in touch with Lionheart broadened his horizons: ‘Suddenly, a whole new world of science, maths, English, history and geography opened up to me.’ Lionheart spotted Syme’s potential and prepared him for Eton where he also received a Music Exhibition. After graduating from Eton, he was determined to give back the same way he had been guided by his advisers at Lionheart, and returned to the firm as a tutor. He also trained in psychometric assessment and education and went on to become the institution’s managing director in 2002 and chairman in 2012. Incredibly proud of the firm’s offering as all recommendations come viva voce, he makes sure that he meets every child in person before going ahead with placements. ‘You cannot place children in schools based on their summer term report and on their parents’ description,’ he says. The hardest part of his role is often managing overenthusiastic parental expectations, as the establishment is against ‘over-tutoring’. ‘There’s a big difference between passing exams and education,’ he says

Rupert Syme